The Edina Public Art Committee is excited to announce the top three winners of the 2013 Edina People’s Choice Awards. Kristen Piersa Kregel’s Number Seven, a life-sized steel horse made from real horseshoes, placed First in the annual competition.
Kregel’s sculpture (valued at $17,000) has created a buzz in the city from the day it was installed last May. Located at Grandview Square Park across from the Edina Senior Center, the artistic horse is the seventh horseshoe sculpture created by the Bloomington artist. The People’s Choice Award first place honor comes with a $1,000 prize.
Placing a close second is Egghead (valued at $18,000) by Kimber Fiebiger of Minneapolis. The bronze ‘Humpty Dumpty’ figure sits happily on a pedestal reading a book at Grandview Square Park appropriately within view of the Edina Library. Fiebiger is well known in the area as the ‘Humpty Dumpty Lady’. As second place winner, she receives a $750 award.
Placing third is Leap Frog, (valued at $15,000) a life-size bronze sculpture by Art Norby of New London, MN, featuring two youthful boys playing the familiar childhood game. Norby receives a $500 award for his piece located at the north end on the Promenade between Target and the Original Pancake House.
Fiebiger is the only artist with two sculptures in this year’s exhibit. Her second piece, Jester Light, a colorful bronze functioning light is located at 50th & France, just outside Sur la Table.
We’re very pleased that we had more votes this year than ever before which shows that residents and visitors enjoy Edina’s expanding public art. This year, thanks to help from the City of Edina Communications Department, we were able to incorporate QR Codes on the sculpture plaques for the public to learn more about the sculptures, artists, public art in Edina and the Edina Art Center.
Next year, again working with the Communications Department, we plan to have electronic voting available through the QR Code system as well as through the city website to make the process easier. Using the paper ballots is very cumbersome, not only with the printing and distribution to four sites, but also, despite clear instructions to ‘vote for ONLY one’ and ‘you must add your name for the ballot to be counted’ over 35 people cast ballots with either no name or more than one sculpture marked. Those ballots were, unfortunately, disqualified. Voting is open to those who live, work or visit Edina.
The annual exhibit which opens each year in June attracts artists mainly from the Upper Midwest with invitations sent to over 300 artists, art educational institutions, museums and organizations.
The three winning artists also are invited to show their sculptures for a second year for which they receive an additional $500 stipend.
The 2013 Edina sculpture exhibit had 11 new sculptures at three locations: the Promenade (5), Grandview Square Park (3) and 50th & France (3). In addition, there are several permanent sculptures located throughout the city which have been donated by residents and artists from past exhibits.
And, of course, we still have Spaulding, Heidi Hoy’s playful bronze dog sculpture, outside Salut at 50th & France from the 2012 exhibit. A groundswell of citizens, businesses and service organizations has mounted a campaign to SAVE Spaulding! by raising funds to purchase it for the city by the end of October. Several fundraising efforts have already taken place with the finale - Pumpkin Fest at 50th & France taking place Saturday, Oct. 26th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fun activities are planned around the Spaulding zone.
I’m proud that public art is becoming synonymous with Edina. The Edina Public Art Committee is currently working on two very exciting new expansions planned over the next two years including sculptures at Fairview Southdale Hospital and Phase IV of the Promenade.
Members of the Public Art Committee, along with Michael Frey, Director of the Edina Art Center, are collaborating with Fairview Southdale representatives to include a fourth public art location in conjunction with the new $39 million Carl N. Platou Emergency Center expansion expected to be completed in 2015. Plans include public art both inside and outside the new facility.
Wayne Houle, Director of Engineering, and Ross Bintner, Environmental Engineer presented the Phase Four Promenade Improvements Design to the Public Art Committee at their October meeting. Located on the Promenade near Byerlys, this new phase has a babbling brook and small pond features including at least two new sculpture pods and is expected to be completed in 2014.
It is, indeed, an exciting time for Public Art in Edina!